Home Money Can I claim £1,273 after mice chewed through cables in my loft? SALLY ORDER IT

Can I claim £1,273 after mice chewed through cables in my loft? SALLY ORDER IT

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HomeServe won't reimburse you for emergency repair work on wires damaged by mice, even if it's covered under your policy, writes Sally Hamilton

I’m at my wits end trying to fix a problem with HomeServe and getting nowhere. I have been a customer of the emergency repair company for over two decades and pay them to cover my electrical and plumbing expenses in the event of a disaster. Until now I had never made any claim.

The first time I do it, after mice ate the electrical cables in my loft, they won’t refund me £1,273 for emergency work. I feel upset and trying to fix it has made the stressful situation worse. Please help.

AJ, Suffolk.

HomeServe won’t reimburse you for emergency repair work on wires damaged by mice, even if it’s covered under your policy, writes Sally Hamilton

Sally Hamilton responds: You explained to me that before Christmas the power completely went out in your house, which was scary because you live alone and are recovering after a long stay in the hospital. The same day he called a well-respected local electrician, who restored some power.

He returned a few days later to investigate in detail. It looked like some pesky rodents had gotten into the ceiling space and were chewing on the wires, which meant rewiring was necessary.

The electrician said his fuse box also needed an upgrade to comply with modern regulations, and for safety reasons, he adjusted his home’s system so that it would be easier to isolate areas of the electrical systems if something were to fuse again.

You felt the bill was not exorbitant for the work done, but you still had to borrow the money from a friend, whom you pay monthly.

Checking her HomeServe policy, which costs £7.93 a month for plumbing and electrical, she saw that under the ‘things that are covered’ section, both wiring and fuse boxes are included, which was a huge relief.

You had previously checked your home insurance, but damage caused by rodents is generally not covered by most home policies, while home emergency plans, like yours, may cover such events.

Submitted the relevant documentation to HomeServe. He then demanded a more detailed bill, which the electrician gave him. Apparently this was not enough and he asked for an even more detailed report. Once again, the electrician obeyed. More information was requested regarding the duration of his visits, which he duly provided.

You felt that this extensive back and forth was suspicious and feared that the insurer was trying to avoid fulfilling your claim. Fed up with this game of cat and mouse, you contacted me.

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Can Sally Sorts It help you?

Do you have a consumer problem you need help with? Email Sally Hamilton at sally@dailymail.co.uk; include the phone number, address, and a note addressed to the offending organization giving them permission to speak with Sally Hamilton.

Please do not send original documents as we cannot be responsible for them.

The Daily Mail or This is Money cannot accept any legal responsibility for the answers given.

I asked HomeServe to step up their efforts to resolve her claim as it had been over three months since the incident. HomeServe was quick to act and even got someone with complaints to spend the weekend reviewing their claim.

Despite these hopeful signs, a few days later he received a disappointing call from a HomeServe agent who denied his claim. The explanation given was that your house had been wired incorrectly and you had not followed the claim process correctly.

You dispute these arguments, as your bungalow is only 25 years old and well maintained, with no problems in the three years you have lived there, and since it was an emergency situation, you filed the claim as soon as you could.

However, later that day, another call came from someone higher up in the organization, stating that the invoices would be met after all. It appears that the results of the complaints team’s weekend efforts had not previously filtered down to the front line.

HomeServe now accepts that you did the best you could during the claims process and that you should not have had such a difficult experience. He has apologized to you directly.

A spokesperson says: ‘On this occasion we didn’t get it right and AJ’s experience fell below the usual high standards our customers expect and we work hard to meet them. In this case there were some complications surrounding her electric policy, but by addressing the issue, we made it more difficult for her to get a resolution than it should have been. “We can understand how frustrating that would have been for her and we are very sorry.”

He has now received the full £1,273.

money" data-version="2" id="mol-d9df5310-0222-11ef-b687-b91e215c8562" data-permabox-url="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/mailplus/article-13340499/Mice-ate-cables-HomeServe-claim-SALLY-SORTS-IT.html"> SCAM WATCH: Beware of this WhatsApp message

WhatsApp users should be careful if they receive an unexpected text message from the app with a verification code, consumer group Which? warns.

Verification codes are usually sent when you log into the app for the first time, access your account from a new device, or if you have logged out of your account.

In this scam, scammers enter your number into the app to try to access your account and sensitive information.

You will then receive a message from one of your ‘contacts’ who is actually a scammer who will try to persuade you to send them the code you just received.

Once scammers have received this code, they will be able to access your contacts and send messages to friends or family asking for money or sensitive information.

Never share your login details or verification code with anyone.

Report fraudulent messages to WhatsApp by pressing and holding the message bubble, then select “report” and follow the instructions.

I lost my £650 wedding ring but my insurer will only pay £351.75

I was devastated when my wedding ring slipped off my finger in Morrisons. I contacted the supermarket’s lost and found division, more with hope than expectation. Nothing was found but at least the ring was insured with Ecclesiasticus. On the policy it was valued at £650 but they will only pay me £351.75, which is very short. Can you help?

SE, London.

Sally Hamilton responds: I’m sorry to hear about the loss of your ring. My widowed mother lost her engagement ring in a similar way on a train, and I’m sorry to report that she didn’t end up in a lost item either. She had lost weight and that’s why her ring finger, which was too thin, slipped. She never saw her ring again and unfortunately it was not insured. But like you, the loss was more disturbing because of the sentimental value of the jewelry.

Ecclesiasticus invited him to choose a similar replacement from among his designated jewelers. But you chose not to go that route because the sentimental value meant it was something you couldn’t replace. You explained that you rarely leave the house and have little chance or desire to wear a diamond ring.

You agreed that at least £100 would be deducted from your claim as that is the excess – the amount an insured must contribute to a claim. The insurer saw her point and agreed to a cash settlement, but only for £351.75. Naturally you weren’t happy, so you came to see me. I thought you were right to complain.

I am pleased to inform you that Ecclesiastical investigated your complaint quickly, was sorry that you were not satisfied with the service and said that it should have offered you different solution options sooner. He accepted his claim for £550 cash, net of the £100 policy excess. But in a shining example of good customer service, he went a step further and paid her an extra £100 for her inconvenience, so he won’t have to pay out of pocket with her claim.

money" data-version="2" id="mol-2d17cea0-016e-11ef-a847-fda894409a4d" data-permabox-url="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/mailplus/article-13340499/Mice-ate-cables-HomeServe-claim-SALLY-SORTS-IT.html"> STRAIGHT TO THE POINT

I received an email from HMRC telling me I have a new tax code. When I tried to log in, I was informed that my password is incorrect and I cannot reset it online. I have contacted customer service several times but cannot resolve the issue.

PW, Leigh-on-Sea.

HMRC says you were the victim of a phishing scam and suspended access to your account to protect your data. Now you have opened a new online account for him.

IN JUNE I bought a pair of trainers worth £45 from Sports Direct but they arrived with a missing insole. I returned the package through Evri, but Sports Direct returned it to me because it was not their product: inside was a pink jacket.

DM, Staffordshire.

FRASERS Group, owner of Sports Direct, has apologized and has offered a refund and £100 voucher. Evri regrets the inconvenience caused and says he recommended that she request a refund from the retailer, as is the industry standard.


Last summer I planned a honeymoon in San Francisco before flying to the island of Maui in Hawaii. But the wildfires on the island meant we had to cancel that leg of the trip at the last minute and find a new hotel in Los Angeles. We submitted a claim for £1,500 to our insurer but it was rejected four times.

FR, Edinburgh.

His insurer has reviewed the case, reversed its decision and agreed to settle his £1,500 insurance claim in full.


My mom’s toilet stopped working, so I called a home repair company to have them send a plumber. The toilet just needed a new fuse as it is connected to electricity; The engineer was only there for 41 minutes but the company charged me £352.80.

JD, Essex.

THE repair company apologizes and says corrective measures are being taken so the mistake is not repeated. He has been refunded £165.20.

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